In his role as a specialist family lawyer with Greene & Greene, Stuart Hughes is often asked by clients about pre and post nuptial agreements.
Arguably one does not enter into a marriage expecting that it might end in divorce, however the statistics show that unfortunately many marriages do break down resulting in separation and Divorce.
The Divorce and associated financial settlement can be both unpredictable and expensive, so, whilst not the most romantic gesture, a nuptial agreement can be of considerable benefit to both parties by providing a measure of clarity and certainty.
That said, the idea of a nuptial agreement regularly provokes a range of emotive responses.
To help, Stuart starts by explaining the following:
- If the agreement is fair, if certain established conditions are met and if you sign a nuptial agreement, then you should expect the court to hold you to it;
- A fair agreement arrived at with the benefit of sound legal advice can provide peace of mind and guard against expensive and unpredictable proceedings. However it is always the hope and intention that the agreement will not be needed and the marriage will succeed. The agreement should be put in place in much the same way as an insurance policy is taken out to cover unforeseen circumstances;
- An individual with inherited wealth, pre-acquired assets or an established asset base should consider a nuptial agreement. The cost of preparing an agreement is minimal compared to the risk of and costs of proceedings; and
- A nuptial agreement can be entered into before the marriage (pre nuptial) or after the marriage (post nuptial).
Deciding on whether to enter into a pre or post nuptial agreement or even whether to have a nuptial agreement at all can be the hardest choice.
Many of the agreements drafted are in place to protect assets such as a pre-owned property, a business or farming estates that are typically brought to the marriage by one party.
It is also increasingly commonplace for parents (and indeed grandparents) to provide financial assistance to the younger generation in getting a foothold on the property ladder and a properly drafted nuptial agreement can protect the family wealth against future claims.
Asset protection is a key part of the work that Greene & Greene undertake for their clients and as is often said “prevention is better than the cure”.
Nuptial agreements form a significant part of the family team’s work and Greene & Greene is a leading firm in West Suffolk in preparing both pre and post nuptial agreements for clients throughout East Anglia and London, with particular expertise in respect of farming families.
If you need a specialist family lawyer please contact Stuart Hughes in the Greene & Greene Family Law Team for an initial no-obligation discussion on 01284 717493 or [email protected]. For more information on the services available at Greene & Greene please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @greenegreenelaw.
*This article was first published in the March Edition of Bury & West Suffolk Magazine